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75 Core Shelter Houses Inaugurated in Penablanca, Cagayan

Mr. Marciano Dameg, second from right, hands over a Certificate of Ownership to a core shelter beneficiary during the turnover ceremony in Manga, Penablanca.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) led the turnover of 75 core shelter houses to families in Manga, Penablanca, Cagayan during a simple ceremony held on April 18, 2018 in the core shelter vicinity.

The core shelter area, with construction commencing in 2015 and completed in 2016, has already withstood numerous typhoons without ever sustaining significant damage, including Super Typhoon Lawin two years ago.

The event was graced by Mr. Marciano D. Dameg, Social Welfare Officer (SWO) IV and Head of the Protective Services Division of DSWD FO2.

In his speech, Mr. Dameg urged the beneficiaries to take ownership of the houses that are being formally transferred to their care and maintain it so even their children’s children can still use it in the future.

Ms. Excelsis De Leon, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) of Penablanca town, said that the core shelter houses benefit vulnerable families and gives them a dwelling place to start realizing their dreams and ambitions.

The Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) aims to provide structurally strong houses that can withstand typhoons, earthquakes of moderate intensity and other natural hazards to disaster victims whose houses are totally destroyed. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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BFAR Awards Aquaculture Technology Package to Tilapia Grow-Out Sustainable Livelihood Program Association

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Office 02 awarded an Aquaculture Technology Package to the Tilapia-Grow Out Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Association of Barangay Manano, Mallig, Isabela. The package includes a two-day training for a representative of the association and provision of 2,500 fingerlings and supply of feeds until they are ready to be sold.

The training was attended by their SLPA President, Romeo C. Justo,  together with other disadvantaged aquaculture farmers and budding associations of the province last March 15-16, 2018 at a BFAR Training Center in San Mateo, Isabela. It aims to impart and demonstrate the latest aquaculture innovations and technology to equip fish farmers on their practice. It includes discussions on Poly-Culture, Semi-Intensive Culture of Tilapia, Modified Integraded Rice-Fish Culture and Upland Aquaculture.

The Tilapia Grow-Out SLP Association was organized last October 2016 with 15 members. The SLPA received financial and technical support through the provision of Skills Training (Microenterprise Development) by DSWD FO2 Sustainable Livelihood Program. Also, collaborative efforts of BFAR, LGU Mallig through its Municipal Agriculture Office and BLGU Manano on areas of skills enhancement, operations management and monitoring initiatives were also given.

To date the SLPA was able to improve the existing area and put up their own fish pond with initial input of fourteen thousand fingerlings.  On the first cycle of harvest, they were able to sell 1,491.5 kilos of tilapia with a gross income of P149, 150.00. This month, the SLPA was able to harvest around 1,300 kilos of tilapia with an approximate gross income of P130, 000.00. On the upcoming third cycle of harvest by August 2018, the SLPA projects a harvest of 900 kilos of tilapia which equates to a gross income amounting to P90, 000.00. The 3rd harvest will generate an approximate net income of P50, 000.00 since BFAR provided the fingerlings and supply of feeds.

The learning opportunity gained by the SLPA President was cascaded to the members of the association. The innovations and technology will be utilized to improve their existing aquaculture practice, increase profitability and serve as a platform for their enterprise diversification plan. ### By: Melisen Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer with a report from: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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SLP Conducts Orientation on Basic Gender and Development

As part of the continuous efforts of DSWD FO2 Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to capacitate its program participants, an orientation on Basic Gender and Development (GAD) was held last March 21-22, 2018 where a total of 3600 participants attended  in various community centers across the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.

The orientation aims to identify the relevant gender issues such as division of labor, access to and control of resources, constraints and opportunities in connection with participation in decision-making and project activities, and access to resources and benefits. It also aims to incorporate GAD issues in the course of project design and implementation among the program participants of SLP.

Respective Field Project Development Officers II, Provincial Coordinators, Regional Program Management Office (RPMO) technical staff and a number of Pantawid personnel spearheaded the said orientation. They served as resource person and secretariat during the said activity. The converge efforts and expertise led to discussions on topics which includes Sex and Gender, Gender Socialization, Gender Division of Labor, Manifestations of Gender Bias & Power, and Gender and Development. The facilitators incorporated an experiential learning coupled with participatory approach to fully engage participants. To make it more dynamic, games and ice breakers were also fused. Correspondingly, Local Government Units and an external partner, St. Mary’s University of Nueva Vizcaya, extended their hand through the provision logistics support.

The orientation bridges the gap on the prevailing mind set of program participants on Gender and Development. It serves as a platform for learning and increases their awareness on gender issues. Now, not only can they readily identify GAD-related issues and concerns but they can now also recognize tangible solutions to address such. Moreover, appreciation on sex and gender and the complexities of the concept of equality was also apparent.

The activity was an eye opener to avoid prejudice on gender preferences and advocates respect on individual differences. The participants were appreciative of the insights gained and they look forward for further capacity building activities of this kind. ### By: Melisen Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer with a report from: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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SM Foundation Inc. Launches Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers Training Program to Sustainable Livelihood Program Participants

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in partnership with SM Foundation Inc. launched the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers Training Program at Aparri and Lallo, Cagayan on April 11-12, 2018.

The endeavor was also in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, SM Supermarket and the Local Government Units of Lal-lo and Aparri.

The concept started back in 2006 when SM Group Founder, Mr. Henry Sy, Sr., thought of ways to uplift the standard of living of small Filipino farmers.  To date, more than 5,200 participants graduated from the program covering 47 sites all over the country where SM stores are located.

The said activity  was attended by 171 SLP participants from the municipalities of Lal-lo and Aparri together with other qualified small farmers in the community. It aims to provide farmers with updated agricultural farm technology on high value crops so that they can produce a bountiful harvest even on limited space. It also aims to enhance the profitability of the farmers so that they can provide more food on their tables.

The program involves three to four months-long technical, modular and classroom lecture coupled with hands-on training on high value crop production. It also teaches product development, marketing and basic bookkeeping to further the capacities of the participants.

An entrepreneurial skills training will be conducted by SLP coinciding with the agricultural training that will be conducted by Harbest Agriculture. ### By: Melisen Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer

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From Laborers to Association Owners: The Success Story of the Pagrang-Ayan SLP Association

Members and officers of Pagrang-Ayan SLP Association happily pose for a picture in front of their office.


The Pagrang-Ayan SLPA Association, a Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) accredited by the Sustainable Livelihood Program in DSWD FO2 back in 2016, recently showed that one doesn’t need a hefty starting budget in order to succeed in business.

The association, which does its business in Barangay Bintawan, Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya, a community gifted with vast areas of agricultural land apt for farming and domestication of animals, is now able to supply the local demand for hogs and rice after livelihood analysis back in 2016 showed that hog and rice production are viable enterprises in the community.

The members of the organization, who once worked as tenants or laborers for privately-owned lands, said that they averaged around P150.00 a day prior to their organization which wasn’t enough to provide for even their basic needs. Unpredictable weather conditions also posed a challenge on the stability of their income.

The local government unit in the area, realizing the potential of the association, supports them by providing additional logistics support along with the provision of an SLPA office and regular monitoring for technical assistance.

The association has already accumulated a considerable amount of savings and consequently was able to facilitate the release Equity Build Up (savings) to its members.

They also used some of their savings to improve their existing assets and some members also used their share to undergo a parental leadership training. The association hopes that by doing these, they will be able to improve not just personally but also colllectively, thereby making their association more sustainable.

In the near future, the SLPA plans to engage  in skills upgrading particularly on meat processing and to establish their own meat shop as part of their project diversification.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program is a capability- building program for poor, vulnerable and marginalized families and individuals in acquiring necessary assets to engage in and maintain thriving livelihoods that help improve their socio- economic conditions. ### By: Melisen Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer with a report from: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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How I Met Two Former Cave Dwellers Who Became Core Shelter Beneficiaries

Mylene Ramos (leftmost), her youngest child (middle) with a DSWD FO2 worker looks on during their time in the cave.


“The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.” Unknown.

We were making our way back to Tuguegarao City from Manila one chilly night last October when our Officer-In-Charge informed us that we will be making a short stop in the Municipality of Cabarroguis, Quirino. I was ready to put my weary feet on my bed that night but duty called, so we made another stop before finally heading home.

It was about an hour past midnight when we traversed the rustic province of Quirino. It wasn’t all that dim that night but the lights weren’t as bright as it was in the city. We reached our destination, the place where we will be spending the night, at about two in the morning and after doing my normal night rituals, I fell asleep.

I woke up at six, not really enough to recharge my body but I felt fine. We ate fried fish and had some coffee and that was enough to get me going. I remember seeing how the clouds were ready to pour rain that day but luckily for us, it didn’t.

While I thought that reaching the town of Cabarroguis was the deepest we would go on the trip, I was mistaken when I realized that the festivities that we will be gracing was still a few knots away.

Our Officer-In-Charge informed me that the program we will be going to is a core shelter inauguration. The roads we took to get to the place were not yet paved, it was bumpy and I swear our driver might have needed to change tires after completing the trip that we had. But I was eager to see how the core shelter looked and how it could somehow enhance the lives of the people that these houses were given to.

The Arrival

I saw a large smoke as we reached the area and I thought someone might have burned something unnecessarily but I was glad to know that the community in the area were just preparing lunch for the festivities. First thing I did after getting out of the vehicle was to take pictures, first of the core shelter houses, second was the people there and third, the view of the mountains behind the houses. The view was breathtaking indeed. I didn’t know how such a nice place can hide in a little-known place for so long. I might not have been the first to take pictures there but I’m sure glad I took one.

While I was roaming around the community, passing time while waiting for the program to start, I happened upon an unsuspecting couple who were gladly talking to our officer-in-charge. My curious side wanted to get near to get to hear the conversation so of course I did.

The couple were both warm when talking but they were also guarded, given that we were strangers to them. They were talking about how happy they were that they can finally have a dwelling place strong enough to take rains and typhoons. Their youngest child was busy clutching her mother’s left leg while we were talking to them.

Michael and Mylene Ramos as I saw at that time, weren’t different from my previous encounters with beneficiaries of the different programs and services of the agency. They were poor yes but through the assistance that they were getting and also their hard work and dedication, they were finally getting themselves out of the clutches of poverty. Little did I know that there was more to them than meets the eye.

Mr. and Mrs. Ramos have four children ages 18, 16, 10 and six. Michael does fishing and Mylene, corn farming. They said that on good days they would gain about P200. Good enough, they said, to buy their necessities on a daily basis. Again, these information weren’t unusual for remote rural dwelllers.

Time in the Cave

What really got me was when they talked about the time they spent living in a cave near the core shelter area years ago. Mylene said they were forced to vacate their former dwelling place after a storm battered their house to the point where it was uninhabitable anymore. Fearing for their safety as a family, they decided to leave their house and run to a nearby cave.

They brought nothing but themselves. After the storm passed, the couple went back to their wrecked house to see what they can salvage. They got a few wet clothes and a few cooking utensils. Michael said it wasn’t much but it was more than enough. He said the fact that they weren’t hurt was way more important than saving as many house tools as possible.

They started almost from scratch. Michael said doing his job was harder given that he had to walk farther than usual to go fishing. Mylene also had a hard time cooking as woods were scarce in the cave. They also had to deal with making sure their children are taken cared of especially since they had a toddler at the time.

They lost their house and almost all that were in it but what wasn’t lost was their determination to push through, start over and build themselves back up again. They slowly learned to adapt to the place they were staying. They said the nights were lonely because they had no lights, it was cold and they had to deal with the fact that serpents can come and harm them. Couple those with the fact that their children were growing and staying in a cave wasn’t really ideal to their development.

Luckily, the couple were chosen as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. They said the help they have been constantly getting has been really helpful and that they were able to stay afloat because of it. Through all of their troubles, they were able to send their children to school because they were determined to make the lives of their children better than theirs.

The family stayed in the cave for three years. An eternity for others, even for the less fortunate ones. But help would come in the form of them becoming core shelter beneficiaries. The couple said that the day they were informed that they would be provided a new home, a real home that is, was one of the best days of their lives. The family didn’t really desire for it to happen, they were happy with what they had, but they were nonetheless thrilled to accept the new house. They thought about their children, not necessarily themselves. Giving their children a decent place to stay in was what they were aiming for.

Fast forward to today and the family is in a better place. I was surprised to hear that the couple said they wouldn’t change anything that happened to them. They said the experiences they had in the cave can’t really be replaced by anything else. However hard and unpleasant it might have been, there really is beauty in the struggle.

The Departure

So I took photos of the houses, of the families, of the program, even the pets roaming around the place. We were there for about two hours but it seemed like it went by faster. Suddenly I didn’t want to leave the place. We had to, of course.

I never wanted to leave them. It felt as though I had more to ask them.

My father died a couple of days after our visit in Quirino. Tragedy can really change your perspective on life. Departing Quirino wasn’t the only sad thing to occur to me, my father departing was even more painful. I didn’t know how to go on, I still don’t after how many months. He has been there, at least the fact that he was alive, for my whole life and now he isn’t anymore. But I always go back to my visit to Quirino and meeting the Ramos Family and I realize that we are more than capable of withstanding tragedies than we’ll ever know. They were determined and they survived. They were strong. Maybe I am too.

“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, people we can’t live without but have to let go.” Nancy Stephan ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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SICAT Confers Graduate Certificates to 145 SLP Skills Training Participants

OIC Lucia S. Alan, SICAT Superintendent Perla V. Lucas (in green), SLP Isabela Provincial Coordinator Maricel Balisi (fourth from right) with graduates.

With the theme “Akmang Kasanayan at Kaalaman Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan”, the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in partnership with Sourthern Isabela College of Arts and Trades (SICAT) led the conferment rites of SLP Skills Training program participants last February 26, 2018 at Santiago City, Isabela.

The partnership was set to capacitate the 145 program participants from ten municipalities of the province of Isabela to ensure higher productivity and employability on chosen livelihood endeavor.

Program participants proceeded with NC II qualifications including Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Front Officer Services, Bread and Pastry Production, Beauty Care, Galing Masahista, Tailoring, Dressmaking, Electronic Products Asembly and Servicing, RAC Servicing, Computer Systems Servicing, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Driving and Automotive Servicing NC I.

The participants were also given starter kits that correspond to their qualifications.

The ceremony was graced by the presence of Officer-In-Charge Lucia S. Alan, Provincial Coordinator Maricel T. Balisi, Vocational School Superintendent Perla V. Lucas, Vocational Instruction Supervisor Engr. Dominador D. Dizon, San Mateo MSWDO Emily Carino, SLP Field Project Development Officers and SICAT Faculty.

In her remarks, Guest Speaker DSWD Field Office Officer-In-Charge, Lucia S. Alan challenged the program participants to realize the technical and theoretical skills gained on the learning opportunity. She further emphasized the significance of the proper utilization of the awarded starter kits for their micro-enterpise.

“Tandaan natin, kayo ang bida ng inyong buhay, ang DSWD, TESDA, SICAT at iba pang ahensiya ng gobyerno ay pawang mga “extra” lamang na nagbibigay ng tulong at gabay sainyo”, Ms. Alan said. ### By: Melisen Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer with a report from: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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DSWD FO2 Holds Adoption Consciousness Month Celebration

ARRS Focal Person Rosario Corpuz (middle) and ARRS staff May Asuncion (right) during their appearance in the Tipon-Tipan sa PIA on February 9, 2018.

The Adoption and Resource Referral Section (ARRS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) will hold a series of activities in line with the Adoption Consciousness Month Celebration this February.

The celebration with the theme “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin!” aims to promote legal adoption as a manifestation of unconditional love and care to abandoned, neglected and surrendered children and urges families with children entrusted to them to legalize their adoptions.

The first in the set of activities lined up was an appearance by ARRS Focal Person Ms. Rosario Corpuz and Ms. May Asuncion along with Atty. Noel Mora, member of DSWD FO2’s Regional Child Welfare Specialist Group (RCWSG) in the Tipon-Tipan sa PIA program last February 9, 2018.

In the said program, Ms. Corpuz urged the importance of legal adoption and foster care to nurture a safe environment where children can heal and thrive.

Atty. Mora added that legal adoption is “free, absolute, voluntary and unconditional” to encourage families to follow the process of legal adoption.

A roundtable discussion with representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) will be held on February 14, 2018 at DSWD FO2 to seek support of the agencies in the promotion of legal adoption.

A simultaneous hanging of streamers with the theme of the celebration will also be held on the same day as well as the launching of adoption help desks in SM City Cauayan and SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown on February 14-15, 2018.

The culminating activity of the Adoption Consciousness Month Celebration will be a fun run to be held on March 3, 2018. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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CSO Accreditation Notice


The public, whether an individual, group or organization is invited to submit to DSWD any derogatory report or information on the CSOs who are applying for accreditation to implement programs/projects using government public funds. Check the list of CSOs here...